behavior

Are Golden Retrievers good with kids?

Adding new members to the family is one of the most joyous and heartwarming lifetime experiences. Whether it be expecting a new child, adopting or buying a pet dog, or having them both simultaneously, preparing ahead by getting to know the breed is crucial in how they get along in the future. Golden retriever is one of the top-picked dog breeds for families for a perfect reason.

With that being said, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know, from why retrievers get along well with kids, factors to consider before getting one, how to get the kids and your retriever along, and how to ensure proper retriever behavior.

Why retrievers can make the perfect fit for the kids

In short, aside from their majestic fur and heartwarming smile, golden retrievers and children or families are a match made in heaven. Aside from their wagging tails, heartwarming smile, and glorious coat, retrievers have a handful of one-of-a-kind personalities to date. Here are some of the highlighted personality traits that show why they can be great with children:

Family material

The fact that retrievers are easily trained, coupled with their outgoing, gentle, and friendly personality, is the top contending reason why a retriever should be in your number one breed of choice! This also means they are safe for kids, so long as you socialize them well enough from a young age (discussed below).

With all that energy within, retrievers make perfect playmates for your kids to run out and about in the yard or play a game of fetch. Not only is this great for exercising your dog, but it also helps your kids go to sleep when bedtime arrives. In addition, goldens essentially go on guard mode when they are with the little ones.

Loyalty at its finest

Though they say all dogs are loyal, retrievers are the definition of loyalty, especially for families. To anyone reading up to this point, that shows you have what it takes to make your future retriever feel loved and belonged, and that is how you earn their loyalty. As soon as they feel like an established family member, they would do whatever means necessary to keep your family safe and sound.

Seldom barkers

You might be surprised about this, but retrievers aren’t as much of a barker as some might expect them to be. Given that your goldens have regular exercise from time to time, they will be naturally calm despite seeing a squirrel hop from one tree to another outside. So, when your kids are tucked in bed, you won’t have to worry too much about the dog waking them back up again.

Factors to consider before getting a golden

Adding a potential new member to the daily is a huge deal for both the dog and your family. Every family is different, which means some would manage just fine with a pup running around the house, while others, not so much. With that being said, here are some things you should consider before retrieving your very own Golden.

Requires extra attention in their puppy years

Though this stage tends to go by in a blink of an eye, this is where you need to supervise them the most, especially when you already have children to take care of as well. As pups, retrievers absolutely love to play around with you and the entire family. However, they can get quite annoyed by loud toddler cries or when they get hit (accidentally), grabbed, or poked excessively. This is where training your retriever and teaching your child how to behave around each other come in handy.

Needs an extent of maintenance

When it comes to physical care, retrievers may need a lot of nutritional investment as females tend to grow up to 29 kg, while males are up to 34 kg. Retrievers are reasonably large dogs as they grow up to 56 cm for females and 61 cm for males in height, so ensuring your home is the space for them to move about and live spaciously is essential. Their double fur coat needs regular grooming to keep it healthy, mat-free, and majestic as always.

A dog’s physical health is just as important as their mental health, which determines their behavioral development. Retrievers need to have plenty of those jogs to the park, random runs in the backyard and fetch games to keep them active. They also need attention in the form of socialization. Doing so helps them behave accordingly by picking up social situations and familiarizing themselves with different people or other pets (if applicable).

Ensuring golden behavior around the kids

Learning is a beautiful gift that we all have within, including our friends in paws. Though this friendly breed should have little to no problem being around the kids, there are ways to err on the right side.

Hence, one of the best and most effective ways to ensure you can be worry-free, leaving your children with a loving retriever or two, is by ensuring your dog has all of these three things: Proper socialization, Training, and Exercise. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Proper socialization

Like human beings, dogs are social creatures too! This means, they also need to interact with both fellow dogs and your children. The good old saying that goes: “The earlier, the better,” applies here in terms of introducing them to each other from a young age.

In the early stages, though, goldens are known to be innately patient and tolerant to all the touching, grabbing, and patting; it would be best to stay close and supervise them. The main focus here is on how your child treats the dog. Now, this is where you teach your beloved child how to be gentle but still allow them to be playful at the same time around golden retrievers.

Doing so can go a long way to a long-lived and loving bond between the two, no matter how old they become.

Adequate training

Retrievers earned their name for an excellent reason, as they are natural hunters that would fetch and hold anything with their mouths. You might see a handful of service dogs that are retrievers, and that’s because they are adept in training!

Teach your dog how to behave or act in social situations, such as if your child cries loudly after tripping over the carpet or when a cone of ice cream drops from your child’s hand. When your retriever can read these social cues (just as how you trained them), this will help you handle your child without needing to worry if your dog would do anything that would cause even more hassle.

Don’t worry; retrievers are eager learners, as they are loyal and people-pleasing (in a good way). This also means you can teach them a few tricks or two like the classic “rollover” or the good old handshake (or paw-shake, if you will).

Exercise, exercise, and exercise

This breed essentially has ever-flowing tanks of energy, making them geared for the need for athletic activities. It is crucial that you incorporate a routine of exercises for golden retrievers throughout their daily life, especially for puppy retrievers.

So, take them with you whenever you have some spare time or happen to be heading somewhere where dogs are allowed. This can be simply taking them on a short trip to the grocery store, going for a jog to the local park, or unwinding as you walk down the beach as the sunsets.

To add to the list, you can also have your kids play with them! Some examples may include playing fetch in the backyard, taking a stroll around the neighborhood, or running around a dog park would work quite perfectly.

As a general rule of thumb, more exercise means better behavior and a wider smile. As long as your retriever gets enough exercise on a regular basis, it’ll surely keep things a lot more peaceful than it would otherwise be if they did lack exercise.

The bottom line

No matter how small or large your family may be, having a golden retriever around the house can always add to the spark of joy that you all already have! Retrievers are the ultimate breed, especially for families with active lifestyles, making them great training buddies for those morning runs to catch the sunrise. Otherwise, they can also make great grocery companions!

Goldens are well-known for having gentle, protective, patient, and friendly personalities, so keeping them around the kids shouldn’t be worrisome. In addition, this breed is also easy to train, so teaching them appropriate behavior around guests, family members, and fellow pets is manageable, especially when you start them young.

Before getting one, you should be well aware of their caring needs such as regular grooming, feeding proper dog diet, taking them to regular vet check-ups, and getting regular exercise sessions. These are all factors in ensuring your retriever is at their best behavior and physical shape throughout their long and happy lives. Otherwise, we wish you all the best in finding the right retriever for you and your loved ones!